Virginia Tech School of Education Alumni Newsletter April 2021
From dean to volunteer activist:
School of Education alumna continues to be a leader in her community.
Dr. Holmes, who received her Ed.D. in 1981 in education administration from the School of Education, is the embodiment of the Virginia Tech motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). Now living in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she dedicates her life to community building and service.
A National Science Foundation report in 2015 found that only 40 percent of African Americans pursuing doctorates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) were completing their degrees. The National Science Foundation recently awarded the Virginia Tech School of Education a $1.9 million grant to help bridge that gap.
Dr. Brenda Brand, an associate professor of science education, serves as principal investigator of the initiative, which is administered by the foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), a network of universities dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities obtaining graduate degrees in STEM.
SOE NEWS DIGEST
April 9, 2021
What does it mean to be educated? That was one of the questions Dr. Amy Azano asked author Tara Westover when she interviewed her recently as part of the Moss Arts Center’s HomeStage series. Like Westover’s bestselling memoir, Educated, her answer did not disappoint.
Dr. Nancy Bradley named associate director in the Virginia Tech School of Education
March 31, 2021
Dr. Nancy Bradley, an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Elementary Education program of the Virginia Tech School of Education, has been appointed associate director of the school’s Office of Academic Programs.
In memoriam: Kusum Singh
March 3, 2021
Kusum Singh, professor emerita of educational research and evaluation in the Virginia Tech School of Education, died on February 22, 2021. A tireless supporter of students and a generous role model to her colleagues, Singh leaves a legacy of scholarship and dedication to the greater good.
- Dr. Carol Mullen published "Dynamics shaping collaborative peer group mentoring among educational leaders," Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 28(4), 416-438, with Educational Leadership and Policy Studies 2020 alumni, Dr. Emily Boyles, Dr. Angelica Witcher, and Dr. Cindy Klimaitis.
- Dr. Carol Mullen published "Online doctoral mentoring in a pandemic: Help or hindrance to academic progress on dissertations," International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, 1-19. The article showcases innovations in teaching and advising, and research during the pandemic and the COVID-19 Dyadic Online Mentoring Intervention (c-19DOMI); it was developed and implemented by the researcher/doctoral mentor (Dr. Mullen) in her online mentoring and advising of mentees from the Virginia Tech School of Education.
- Dr. John Wells published “Design-Based Biotechnological Learning: Distinct Knowledge Forms Supporting Technology and Science Conceptual Understanding,” Design-based Concept Learning in Science and Technology Education, ed. Ineke Henze and Marc J. de Vries, International Technology Education Studies 17 (Leiden, Netherlands: Sense/Brill, 2021), pp. 223–47.
- Dr. Jesse “Jay” Wilkins published “Releasing the Conceptual Spring to Construct Multiplicative Reasoning,” Educational Studies in Mathematics 106.1 (2021): 151–70, with Curriculum and Instruction alumna Dr. Karen Zwanch (2019).
AWARDS & OUTREACH
Dr. John Wells, Professor of the Integrative STEM Education program, received the 2021 Distinguished Technology and Engineering (DTE) award from the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA).
PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
Blaming Teachers: Professionalization Policies and the Failure of Education Reform in the United States
Historically, Americans have concurred that teachers were essential to the success of public schools and the nation. However, they have also agreed that public school teachers were to blame for the failures of the schools and identified professionalization as a panacea. In Blaming Teachers, Diana D’Amico Pawlewicz reveals that historical professionalization reforms subverted public school teachers’ professional legitimacy. Superficially, professionalism connotes authority, expertise, and status. Professionalization for teachers never unfolded this way, though; rather, it was a policy process fueled by blame where others identified teachers’ shortcomings.
Join Dr. Marcus Weaver-Hightower and the Virginia Tech School of Education in welcoming Diana D'Amico Pawlewicz, the author of Blaming Teachers. In this Zoom presentation, D’Amico Pawlewicz will connect historical professionalization to today’s politics of education, where teachers are often ignored on key issues, from curricular decisions to pandemic reopening plans. A question and answer session will follow.
VT Engage plans workshops and service trips for April and May
For the rest of the spring semester, VT Engage: The Center for Leadership and Service Learning is offering a variety of student leadership opportunities and workshops for the university community. Additionally, the team is offering in-person service opportunities to Stadium Woods. Please visit this page for a list of April and May events by VT Engage.
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- Associate Director, VT School of Education, Office of Educational Research and Outreach
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- Open-Rank Professor of Educational Leadership
- Open-Rank Professor Reading/Literacy Education
- Assistant/Associate Professor of Career and Technical Education (CTE) - Agricultural Education
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